“In a life full of lies, he settled finally for the truth.”
No one in Mattingly ever believed Bobby Barnes would live to see old age. Drink would either rot Bobby from the inside out or dull his senses just enough to send his truck off the mountain on one of his nightly rides. Although Bobby believes such an end possible—and even likely—it doesn’t stop him from taking his twin sons Matthew and Mark into the mountains one Saturday night. A sharp curve, blinding headlights, metal on metal, his sons’ screams. Bobby’s final thought as he sinks into blackness is a curious one—there will be stars.
Yet it is not death that greets him beyond the veil. Instead, he returns to the day he has just lived and finds he is not alone in this strange new world. Six others are trapped there with him.
Bobby soon discovers that rather than the place of peace he had been led to believe he was in, it’s actually a place of secrets and hidden dangers. Along with three others, he seeks to escape, even as the world around him begins to crumble. The escape will lead some to greater life, others to endless death . . . and Bobby Barnes to understand the deepest nature of love.
There is something that keeps drawing me to the fictional town of Mattingly, Virginia. This series of books has both confused and intrigued me but I keep returning with each new release. At least this book is set AFTER In the Heart of the Dark Wood, which Billy Coffey had written previously. There Will Be Stars can probably be read alone, but it does contain brief references to earlier events.
This is a book about the decisions we make and the ones we don’t make; when even a decision to do nothing has repercussions. It’s about one person’s heaven being another person’s hell. It’s about sacrifice and love, and selfishness and power. It’s about an innocent façade hiding an evil as old as time, and it’s about time running out when we think we have all the time in the world. That’s my opinion anyway. It’s primarily Bobby Barnes’ story but, when all was said and done, I was left thinking about the fate of more than one of his fellow characters. The final two pages are possibly the best, and most important, in the entire book.
Strange things – unconnected things – happen in Mattingly, and I’ve not always understood them. Remarkably, I understood what was happening in There Will Be Stars even though I’m not sure I ever fully learned the machinations behind everything. There’s a revelation midway through that was surprising but also expected on some level. It was a twist that made sense. Ultimately, this is the most enjoyable of all the Mattingly books I’ve read.
Thank you to Thomas Nelson and BookLookBloggers for my complimentary copy of There Will Be Stars, which I received in exchange for my honest review.
Have you read There Will Be Stars? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (a division of HarperCollins Christian)
Publication Date: 03 May 2016
Page Count: 416